Pirates kidnap 12 sailors off Nigeria

BERLIN - German authorities confirmed yesterday that two of their nationals were among 12 foreign sailors kidnapped after gunmen attacked a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta.

BERLIN - German authorities confirmed yesterday that two of their nationals were among 12 foreign sailors kidnapped after gunmen attacked a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta.

Germany's foreign ministry has set up a crisis team and "is working in cooperation with the Nigerian authorities to ensure that the two Germans are freed", a spokesperson said.

The vessel attacked on Saturday, the BBC Polonia, is German-flagged, according to Nigerian navy officer David Nabaida.

But according to the MarineTraffic.com website, it is an Antigua Barbuda registered ship which was heading to Nigeria's Onne port, situated on the Bonny estuary, close to the oil hub of Port Harcourt.

The navy managed to board the vessel and sailed it to safety at Bonny anchorage, Nabaida said.

One of the crew members, a Ukrainian national, was injured in the attack and is in a stable condition in hospital, the officer added.

Nabaida identified the seized crew as seven Russians, two Germans, one Lithuanian, a Latvian and another Ukrainian. - Sapa-AFP

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